Bernie Sanders stated that President’s Trump’s nominee for deputy White House budget director is free to be a Christian but that his Christian views make him unwelcome to serve in government.
The Blaze reports:
Sanders: Trump appointee has religious freedom, but he can’t work in government
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) has no problem with the Christian faith of President Donald Trump’s pick for deputy White House budget director — but the senator says the nominee is not welcome to serve in the government.
Earlier this month, Sanders blasted Trump nominee Russell Vought, a Christian, for a 2016 blog post in which he wrote that Islam as a “deficient theology” and argued Muslims “stand condemned” because they have rejected faith in Jesus Christ. Sanders declared his opposition to Vought’s nomination and ultimately said Vought’s religious values disqualified him for public office.
Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, addressed the issue Sunday during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Host Jake Tapper asked the lawmaker if someone is “necessarily hateful and Islamophobic” if they believe the only path to God is through Jesus Christ.
“No, absolutely not,” Sanders told Tapper. “Look, what our Constitution — one of the great parts of our Constitution is to protect freedom of religion. You practice what religion you want — I do. Mr. Vought does. That’s what it’s about.”
But that freedom, in Sanders’ mind, doesn’t mean it’s OK for Vought to hold a job in the federal government. In fact, he said it would be “unacceptable” for the Christian nominee to do so.
. . . . Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Dallas, slammed the Vermont senator for subjecting Vought to an “unconstitutional religious test.”
“These words, and this sentiment, are not only unconstitutional, but unconscionable by a public official,” Jeffress, a conservative, said. “This attack by Sanders is abhorrent because he has effectively said that evangelicals, who make up 41 percent of the population of our country, are not qualified to serve in public office, and [are] ‘not what this country is all about.’”